NEW ORLEANS — Carl Landry pushed his way through traffic midway through overtime, bursting through coverage for a layup that went in despite the Hornets forward getting fouled.
When he landed, he sat on the floor briefly, long enough to flex both arms.
New Orleans might not be in the playoff hunt but that didn’t stop the Hornets from flexing enough muscle to win their home finale over Southwest Division rival Houston 105-99.
Moments after Landry’s and-1 gave the Hornets a three-point lead, Al-Farouq Aminu’s high-arcing jumper put them up by five.
A steal and dunk by Eric Gordon sent the sellout crowd into delirium and the Hornets held off Houston.
Gordon finished with 27 points and five assists, Landry had 20 points and 10 rebounds off the bench and Aminu added 17 points and eight rebounds as the Hornets picked up their 20th win of the season.
While it wasn’t a crisp performance for all 53 minutes, new owner Tom Benson was courtside to see a team play for their jobs and for pride, eschewing what is regular NBA of tanking down the stretch for lottery positioning.
New Orleans (20-43) won despite 18 turnovers and despite allowing Houston to make 11 of 31 3-pointers. The Hornets countered by making 47.1 percent of their shots and outrebounding the Rockets (32-31) by 17.
The Hornets finished the home schedule 11-22 and are percentage points behind Sacramento for worst record in the Western Conference. They’ll close out the season with three road games.